PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
The Creative Edge Focusing (TM) e-newsletter is unique in that it teaches actual applied exercises in each issue which you can practice at home. To maximize learning, you will of course not just read about the exercises but try to find time to try them out.
Every four week cycle, we practice the same three different exercises, or variations, each week. We practice them deeply enough to integrate them into your life at home and work as actual tools in your tool box. So, opening each email and practicing the exercise leads to learning.
Please feel free to pass these e-newsletters on to your friends and colleagues. This is one way to start building your own supportive community of like-minded people.
INSTANT INTIMACY, FINDING PARTNERS, DEEPENING SENSUALITY
This four weeks, the exercise is to be done between committed partners, friends, family members. It is a basis for keeping intimacy alive in long-term relationships. I will also share what I know about how this intimate sharing can carry over into increased sensuality/sexuality.
But I will also teach what I know about finding a Focusing-Oriented partner.
Here is the basic exercise. It is extremely simple. Perhaps you are already doing this with your significant other. Perhaps all you have to say is "Let's try this," and you and your partner will make it happen. However, perhaps it will seem impossible to get from where you are now to this kind of sharing. Or maybe you don't even have a significant other. We will spend four weeks working on overcoming these obstacles! For today, read with your significant other, if you have one, and start practicing as many days of the week as you can.
If you don't have a significant other, or you can't imagine bringing this idea up with yours, you can begin using Instant "Ahah!" #1, Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You to explore the "felt sense" of this whole issue for you, look at "What is in the way---?"," and look for a possible first step:
instant "ahah!" 8
Sharing Your Day : Instant Intimacy
© Kathleen McGuire, Ph.D., 2007
Creative Edge Focusing ™
Time = Love
With your significant other: Every day, and I mean religiously, set aside about 40 minutes to sit down and "share your day." Get a drink or a snack or go in the hot tub -an uninterrupted space away from other family members. It might only take 20 minutes, but it is ideal to have plenty of time available.
At a separate time, you can also do this with your children, each person having an uninterrupted turn.
Just Warm, Silent Attention: No Interruptions, No Criticism
Each person gets to talk without interruption, refreshing in his/her own mind and describing to the other the events of the day, usually in chronological order, often starting with the night before: anxieties, dreams. The speaker gets to share every event of the day which rises to consciousness, no matter how trivial it seems. This can easily take about twenty minutes
The other person simply listens quietly, not saying a word (Well, maybe an occasional "Wow!" or "How interesting!" or "Oh, no!" or "Yikes!").
Then, when the first speaker is done, it is the other person's turn - same deal: No interruptions, no opinions, no judgments.
No Problem Solving
And no problem solving. At least initially, save problem solving for another time, or do it before or after. Too easily, problem solving can eat up the sharing space, and intimacy is lost. Problem solving can also bring up conflicts, not wanted in this sharing space. And fear of problem solving can make people dread sharing time, instead of looking forward to this peaceful, intimate lull in a busy day.
Intimacy = Sharing
That's it!!! You will thoroughly understand what your significant other does all day, the frustrations, the tedium, the other people in his or her world, the small joys, the conflicts, the stresses, the successes, the low points, the high points. And each person will feel that their life is valid and valuable, no matter how trivial or repetitious it may seem to be.
Over time, you will get to know each other intimately, and this intimacy will carry over into other areas of your shared life. Intimacy increases sensuality and sexuality between partners. Intimacy also leads children to turn to their parents when needing help.
Instant "Ahah!" s 2 and 3 show how to use both passive and active listening for problem solving. But, here, you are using passive listening simply to let your partner or child be the center of attention. At the same time, the speaker becomes the "center of attention" to him- or her-self, taking the time to fully receive his or her day.